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What Is Sciatic Nerve Pain And How Can A Chiropractor Help?

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Have you ever experienced a tingling or dull pain in your lower back? If yes, then there can be major reasons behind the pain. We often ignore this pain as it does not cause any major harm but may become severe with time. However, in some cases, the pain becomes so worse that it does not allow you to move. 

Nerve pain is common if you have diabetes; about 30% of the entire nerve pain occurs due to this single disease. But you may also suffer from nerve pain because of many other problems like cancer, HIV, shingles, etc. Also, you may hear people who complain a lot about pain because of Sciatica, mainly people aged 30 to 50. This problem can be very painful and may become worse with age. Thus, it is recommended to consult a doctor whenever you face persistent nerve pain.

Let’s know what is sciatic nerve pain and how a chiropractor can help it ease. 

What Is Sciatica And Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Any pain in the sciatic nerve is called Sciatica. It starts from the lower back and travels down the hips, buttocks, and legs. The sciatic nerve is one of the widest and longest nerves in the body that controls the back muscles of the knee and lower legs. As it is rare for a sciatic nerve to get injured, any pain that starts with the lower back and goes down to the leg is termed Sciatica. The only common among them is the inflammation, compression, and irritation caused by the injury. One can face sciatica pain when a herniated disc or overgrowth bone puts pressure on the nerve part. 

How Does Sciatic Nerve Pain Feel?

The nerve pain can vary from mild to high along the sciatic nerve path. One may also feel weakness, numbness, or tingling in their toes, foot, or legs. Also, different people may experience different types of sciatic nerve pain. In some cases, one may feel a sharp or shooting pain, whereas others may feel pain electric, burning, or stabbing sensations.

The pain type depends on the cause of sciatic nerve pain; it can also be stable or unstable. The pain worsens with movement and after standing or sitting for a long time. A sudden movement in your body, such as sneezing and coughing, may also worsen the pain. Also, one may feel more pain in the legs than in the lower back. 

What Are The Causes Of Sciatica?

There are several reasons why Sciatica can occur, and some of them are: 

Slipped Or Herniated Disc

Sciatic pain occurs due to herniated disc in the spine, which further puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. A herniated disc refers to the bulging of the disc that is the most common cause of back, leg, and neck pain. 

Degenerative Disc Disease

Sometimes, discs present between the spine vertebrae goes through natural wear and tear, causing a degenerative disc disease. It further shortens the disc height and narrows the nerve passage resulting in nerve pain. 

Spinal Stenosis

When the spinal cord canal gets narrowed down abnormally, it lowers the space for nerves and the spinal cord. Due to this, one feels pain in that specific area.  


Spondylolisthesis is a condition that happens when one of the spine bones or vertebrae slips forward. It means the bone gets out of line with the bone above, narrowing down the opening where the nerve exists and causing pain.     


Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis, also called degenerative joint disease. It refers to joint wear and tear, causing pain in the hips, knees, and hands. The aging of the spines and compression of lower back nerves primarily causes it. 

Piriformis Syndrome

It is a syndrome that causes spam or pain in the piriformis muscle of the buttock region. This problem also causes pain in the nearby areas of the sciatic nerve, causing a tingling sensation or numbness in the leg or foot. 

Cauda Equina Syndrome

It is a condition that occurs due to the compression of multiple nerve roots. It is a severe but rare condition that shows extreme pressure on the nerves causing swelling at the end part of the spinal cord. Because of this, one suffers the loss of bowel and bladder control, leg pain, and numbness all over the anus area. 

Trauma To The Spine 

Sciatic nerve pain also occurs as a result of trauma. Any traumatic event cause pain in the sciatic nerve pathway. An accident, sports injury, fall, etc., can affect the sciatic nerve causing pain in the lower back, thigh, buttock, and lower leg.  

Tumor On The Spine

A disease like cancer in the lumbar spine near to sciatic nerve can also give rise to sciatic nerve pain. The pain starts to increase as the tumor begins to grow and puts pressure on the nerve. But, not each tumor that grows on the spine is cancerous.

What Are The Symptoms Of Sciatica?

Whenever one suffers from Sciatica, they can experience the below symptoms. Let’s have a look at them. 

  • Sciatic pain can occur anywhere across its nerve path from the lower back, the buttock, the thigh, and the lower legs.
  • Mild to acute pain on the parts of the sciatic nerve. 
  • Pain starts at the lower back and spreads to the buttock and the legs. 
  • Weakness and numbness in the leg, feet, lower back, and buttocks. 
  • Pain that becomes severe with body movement or sudden force like coughing. 
  • Burning or tingling sensation in legs, feet, or toes. 
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control. 

What Are The Risk Factors For Sciatica?

Below are some risk factors that may worsen the condition of Sciatica. 


Aging wears down the disc and tissues of your spine, further shifting the disc, narrowing the spinal canal, etc. People aged 30 to 50 are at greater risk of sciatic nerve pain. Any changes in the spine with age may cause sciatic nerve pain.


The job involves lifting heavy loads, sitting for a long time, driving a vehicle for long hours, etc., which can harm the disc of your spine. It further results in an increased risk of pain in the sciatic nerve. 


Excess stress on the spine may damage the disc and cause pain. The spine lifts the body’s weight, and an increased weight puts pressure on the spine. Because of this, one may also suffer from pain in the sciatic nerve pathway. 


Diabetes raises the sugar level in the blood and raises the risk of nerve damage, causing Sciatica. Managing diabetes can help prevent sciatic nerve pain. 

Sedentary Lifestyle

People who exercise or remain active all the time are less prone to Sciatica. People who prefer sitting for long hours or are physically inactive are at higher risk of developing Sciatica. Also, people who go to the gym and do not follow proper weight lighting or other exercises may be at risk of sciatic nerve pain. 

Previous Injury

If one has a previous injury in the lower side of your back or spine, one may suffer from Sciatica. The spine supports the entire body, and if it is not strong, it may not bear the pressure and cause pain. 

Smoking Habit

Tobacco contains nicotine which harms the tissue of the spinal cord. Nicotine wears down the vertebrae’s disc and weakens the spine’s bone. 

How To Diagnose Sciatica?

One must go to the doctor as soon as possible and seek medical attention. The healthcare expert performs a physical exam and checks for muscle strength during the diagnostic process. If the pain does not go even after 4-8 weeks, this is likely the problem of acute Sciatica. 

The doctor asks for the medical history, analyses it, and tries to understand the problem’s cause. They may also ask you to raise your legs straight, walk on heels, or do other activities, like stretching and other strength activities. Based on the analysis, the doctor asks for some tests, including the following. 


It is the first and the most common test for any kind of pain. It helps the doctor know about the unwanted growth of bone on the spine. This diagnostic test also lets the doctor know about disc problems, spinal fractures, bone spurs, and tumors. 


The doctor suggests this diagnostic test to confirm the issue of Sciatica. This test helps produce cross-sectional pictures of your back using strong radio waves. It provides a detailed image of soft tissues and bones, letting the doctor know about the exerted pressure, pinched nerve, herniated discs, or arthritic condition. 

CT Scan

When the doctor performs a CT scan, a dye is inserted into the spine canal, and an X-ray is taken. The dye helps the doctor identify the moving fluid inside the body, making the inside images clearer. 

Electromyography (EMG)

This test helps the doctor know if there is a problem with the nerve and muscle. It allows the doctor to calculate the impulses generated by nerves and their responses to the muscle. In other words, it helps the doctor find the single transmission problem from the nerve to the muscle. This test confirms the severity of the nerve injury. 

Read Also: Top 10 Infrared Light Therapy Benefits – ReAlign Spine

What Are The Treatments Available To Ease Sciatica?

Sciatica involves pain in the sciatic nerve pathways, and its treatment help eases the pain. As per the problem and its intensity, the doctor treats the problem in two ways: self-care treatment and specialized treatment. 

Self-Care Treatment

In some cases, self-care treatment reduces sciatic nerve pain with time. One can do some simple methods at home without the involvement of a healthcare expert. The self-care treatment method involves the following: 

General Exercises And Stretches

In some cases of Sciatica, performing simple exercises helps reduce sciatic nerve pain, strengthening the body’s core muscles. Aerobic exercises and general strengthening may also be effective in easing the pain.   

Applying Hot And Cold Packs

Sometimes, applying cold packs on the affected area helps ease sciatica symptoms. Choose the one that provides you relief from the pain and discomfort. One must apply ice packs for at least 20 minutes multiple times daily. If one still feels pain, switch to hot packs and use them for 20 minutes. 

Taking General Medicines

Pain relief medicines help ease the pain and lower the inflammation. These medications include over-the-counter drugs, such as aspirin, naproxen, etc., also called non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). But these may cause some side effects. So, taking acetaminophen medicines can help better than NSAIDs. 

Specialized Treatments

Specialized treatments require the involvement of experts such as doctors, chiropractors, etc. Based on the symptoms of Sciatica, doctors provide different treatments that may include drugs and therapies. Let’s see some of the specialized treatments offered by experts. 

Prescribed Medicines

Based on the intensity of the pain, the doctor may prescribe various medications. The drugs may include pain relievers and muscle relaxants to relieve pain, muscle spasms, and discomfort. The doctor may also provide anti-seizures, anti-inflammatories, anti-depressants, or opioids if one suffers from acute pain.  

Spinal Steroid Injections

In some cases, in order to lower the swelling and pain, doctors suggest spinal injections that include anti-inflammatory medicines or corticosteroids. The injection is given at the nerve root of the affected area and administered under the control of local anesthesia. But, one must remember that up to three steroid injections can be given in a year. 

Physical Therapies

It includes exercises or expert therapies that help lower nerve pressure and pain. The exercise may include stretching, swimming, walking, and many more that help improves muscle flexibility. The doctor may also provide this treatment to improve posture and enhances motion. A physical therapist can provide various treatment programs to strengthen muscles and reduce pain. 


The surgical treatment is provided only when the patient’s condition is severe, causing problems like excess weakness, extreme pain, loss of control of the bladder or bowel, etc. In severe cases, the doctor may suggest surgery when none of the treatments works. During the surgical process, the doctor may remove the herniated disc or the bone spur from the spine. 


Acupuncture is one of the alternative therapies practiced by experts. It is an ancient healing technique that involves inserting hair-like needles into the skin at a specific point of the body. This method releases healing chemicals into the muscles, brain, and spinal cord during acupuncture. It further provides relief from pain or any other problems. But, studies show some people find acupuncture helpful, whereas others do not. So, it is always better to choose an expert and licensed practitioner for acupuncture treatment.

Chiropractic Treatment

This treatment includes spinal manipulation, which is also called spinal manipulative therapy, spine adjustments, or manual therapy. It is performed by expert chiropractors to restore the movement of the spine and reduce spinal pain. It is considered a safe treatment to treat lower back pain. 

How Do Chiropractor For Sciatic Nerve Pain Help?

A chiropractor is a trained healthcare expert who focuses on the entire body to treat issues related to nerves, muscles, and bones. Their treatment includes various exercises, massages, therapies, etc. Before providing any treatment, a chiropractor asks about the problem and reviews the medical history. After that, they also ask the diagnostic reports like MRI, CT scan, X-rays, etc. After reviewing each detail, they provide the most suitable treatment to the patient. Let’s see different chiropractic treatments for Sciatica. 

Massage Therapy

Chiropractic massage therapy is different from regular massage therapy. In the case of sciatica treatment, a chiropractor treats the discs and realigns the vertebrae of the spine. They focus on reducing the issues related to muscles, nerves, and bones. A chiropractor uses proven massage techniques that help treat various problems, including Sciatica. A licensed and expert chiropractor help provide better treatment to patients suffering from neuromusculoskeletal issues.  

Spinal Adjustments

A chiropractor can help adjust the spine and allow the changes to restore to their initial state. In the case of Sciatica, spinal adjustments allow slippage of the disc (Spondylolisthesis) or bulging of the disc (herniated disc) to be restored to its actual position. A chiropractor performs each technique with proper force and pressure. The process involves providing spinal flexibility and improving spinal function and motion. It helps realign the spine, reduce pain and improve posture.  

Spinal Decompression Therapy

The disc of your spine dries out due to aging, injury, etc. Because of this, the disc becomes thin and results in spine compression, causing sciatic nerve pain. A chiropractor provides therapy that helps stretch the spine and expands the space between each vertebra. It further allows the disc to rest back to its actual state and lowers the back pain.  

Chiropractic Exercises 

Sciatica refers to nerve pain, and there can be this many reasons behind its occurrence. Also, a few specific movements may worsen the condition. So, depending on the problem or the area of the pain, a chiropractor may recommend some exercise. It helps patients release pressure on the nerves and eases their pain. It may include stretching exercises or yoga to lower inflammation and reduce irritation.   

Chiropractic Modalities 

Some chiropractic modalities help ease the symptoms of Sciatica. A chiropractor uses therapeutic ultrasound to provide heat therapy to patients. It is generated by sound waves which go deep inside the body and pass through the tissues. As a result, it lowers muscle spasms, swelling, and pain in the body. It includes therapeutic ultrasound, cold laser therapy, TENS (transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation), and many more.     

Cold laser therapy is another method a chiropractor uses to ease sciatic nerve pain. This therapy uses light to treat the problem instead of heat. TENS is a machine that uses different electric current intensities to manage pain. 

Where To Find The Best Chiropractor?

Sciatica is a condition caused by injury, stress, diabetes, or many other problems, resulting in pain in the sciatic nerve path. You may not feel major problems at the initial stage, but if left untreated may cause severe issues. So, it is vital to give quick attention and provide proper treatment before the condition worsens. 

Realign Spine, a chiropractic care center in Jackson Heights, New York City, provides a reliable treatment for Sciatica. We help provide the most suitable treatment according to your problem and the intensity of the sciatic nerve pain. As a chiropractor, we use drug-free and non-surgical treatments to treat pain. Our expert chiropractor uses proper techniques and best practices to alleviate the pain. 

Why Choose Our Chiropractic Treatment?

There are several reasons to book an appointment with us. Some of them are- 


Chiropractic treatment costs may vary with each visit, depending on the type of treatment. Intensive treatments like adjustments make cost you more than other treatments. In general, each chiropractor visit may cost you between $30 to $200. At Realign Spine, we always charge a suitable amount for our services depending on the problem and time of treatment. We always remain transparent to our patient and does not charge any hidden cost. 

Licenced And Expert Chiropractor

When choosing a chiropractor, looking for an expert and licensed one is vital. Our clinic expert has many years of experience and can better understand your problem and help provide the best treatment. Our expert always uses correct techniques and practices. 

Provide Proven Treatment Methods

To treat Sciatica, our expert uses non-surgical methods and natural physiotherapy. We always suggest expert-tested exercises to our patients to relieve sciatic pain. Our experts also help treat muscle weakness and numbness. 

We understand what it’s like to bear the pain. You also understood what is sciatic nerve pain and how a chiropractor can help. Our chiropractor for Sciatica in our clinic helps our patients treat their chronic or acute pain. We also help our patients suffering from disc herniation, neck and back pain, and arm and leg numbness. To get help from our chiropractor for sciatic nerve pain, call +1 888-269-7246 or email at 

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